I have tried to get some background information on the writer, but I did not succeed, except for the information given on the backcover of the book. The writer was born in Egypt in the year 1938.
In this book I found several short stories. The main story is about the boy Noe’maan. It is a funny, at times outrageous story. The boy Noe’maan has ahistory, a bit hidden, a bit secret. Much is unknown about him and his parents and his general ancestry. The author suggest all kinds of theories and possibilities and impossibilities to add to the few facts about his life. Noe’maan is a very ordinary boy who grows into a man. But the stories about his life grow and grow and he gains stature. At the background we get some information on the main topics in Egyptian political life.
Another story is about a bridge. The police is looking for a murder weapon underneath the bridge. A diver is looking for it, but during this attempt he finds many other things. It seems many people who have disappeared have been dumped underneath the bridge, so the diver has a difficult job.
The next story is about a village where a strange disease invades this tranquil place. At the height of the epidemic no one in this village is able to speak. Life changes in dramatic was.
I read somewhere that the main character in the first story, Noe’maan, stands for the ordinary Egyptian. All kinds of stories are woven around this Egyptian. It is even said that Noe’maan stands for Egypt as a whole. A country with a humble origin, and many stories woven around it. But maybe this look at this young man Noe’maan is a bit overdone.
I enjoyed reading this book, it is funny, ironic, hyperbolic.
Mohammed Mustagaab – Dieroet as-sjearief wa Noe’maan abd al Hafiz – 1986